Australia Should Ban Citizens From Joining IDF, Muslim Leader Says

President of the Lebanese Muslim Association says it is 'not fair' that Australian jihadists returning from Iraq, Syria can face prosecution, while Australian conscripts in the Israeli army don't.


A Muslim community leader in Australia has come out against the country's ban on Australians fighting in Syria or Iraq, while it allows them to join the Israel Defense Forces.

President of the Lebanese Muslim Association Samier Dandan said it was "not fair" that Australians who fight in Syria or Iraq can face prosecution on their return home. Those who fight in the IDF should face prosecution, too, he said, according to Australian media reports.

Prohibiting Australian citizens from enlisting in the Israeli army would make sure "we don't create more heat within the Australian social fibre among people from different cultures," he told the Australian Associated Press.

"It's hard when you say something to one side and they look and say how come we're not being treated the same - it's not fair," he said, adding, "The law should be across everyone - that's how we feel."

The Australian government has recently express concern over Australian jihadists in Iraq and Syria, and the risk they pose to the country when they return.

Dandan also criticized Australia's decision in June to no longer refer to East Jerusalem as an occupied territory.